California to draw more than $100 billion from tourists in 2011
Travel and tourism in California is expected to generate a total of $104.4 billion in direct spending in 2011, a 10% increase over last year.
The 2011 forecast included in a report by Tourism Economics, a Pennsylvania-based tourism consulting firm, also projects continued growth in travel spending in 2012.
California is expected to exceed the $100-billion mark for the first time ever in 2011 thanks to growth in domestic travel spending and a surge in international travel to the Golden State. Travelers to California spent $95.1 billion in 2010, according to the report.
Overall visitation numbers to California are expected to be up 4% in 2011, compared with last year. That increase includes a 6.9% growth in international visitors and a 9% increase in overseas visitors from such countries as China, France and Australia, according to the report.
Overseas visitors are most valued in the tourism industry because they typically stay longer and spend more money than domestic visitors.
Total travel-related employment in 2011 is expected to reach 890,000 jobs, or about 4% of the state's total employment, the report said.
Photo: Brazilian tourists Masra Andrade, left, and Ticiana Santana have their picture taken with the Hollywood sign. Credit: Christina House / For The Times